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Connacht Tribune

Farmers demand development prices for cemetery lands

Declan Tierney



Galway farmers are demanding development prices for lands that the County Council require to carry out vital extensions to cemeteries.

And it has been suggested that Galway County Council embark on the compulsory purchase of lands that are needed to extend graveyards in situations where no agreement can be reached with landowners.

It was stated that people have the right to be buried in their own area and if land is required to extend cemeteries, then Galway County Council should consider going down the CPO route.

The suggestion was made at a meeting of Athenry-Oranmore Municipal Council when it was said that the graveyards in Claregalway and Annaghdown were close to being full and they needed to be extended.

It was then that Claregalway’s Cllr Malachy Noone expressed concern that landowners were looking for too much money when it came to selling property for the purposes of extending graveyards.

The Fianna Fail councillor pointed out that the land where Claregalway Cemetery is currently located was acquired back in the late 1960s by CPO and there was no reason why this process could not be used again.

“Some of the landowners are looking for money that would be close to development prices and that is not sustainable.

“People want to be buried in their own area and that is very understandable and equally the Council cannot pay exorbitant prices for land so there is nothing wrong with going down the route of issuing a CPO in order to extend a graveyard,” Cllr Noone added.

Cllr James Charity (Ind) was in agreement with embarking on the CPO process so that an independent arbitrator could be appointed to agree a value of the property involved.

“We have a crisis situation. There is no doubt about that. But the Council also have to be realistic in their approach to acquiring lands to extend graveyards.

“Gone are the days when people will donate lands for graveyard extensions to they have to approach the matter in a realistic way and the appointment of an independent arbitrator to come up with a fair price for the land.

“If an arbitrator was appointed, then it increases the likelihood of agreement being reached between both parties,” Cllr Charity added.

Chairman Cllr Frank Kearney said that space was rapidly running out at the cemeteries in Claregalway and Annaghdown as well as dozens of other graveyards around the county.

However, he was not convinced that the issuing of compulsory purchase orders was the way of tackling this issue.

He said that the Council would not be comfortable with issuing CPOs to extend graveyards and believes that other options should be teased out before adopting such a strategy.

Cllr Noone, who was attending his last area meeting given the fact that he is not standing for re-election, asked that the crisis involving cemeteries be discussed at the first meeting of the new Council in June.

Connacht Tribune

Galway’s newest garden centre has arrived at McD’s in Galway Crystal




Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building

For over 10 years people have been flocking to McD’s Garden Centre in Loughrea to get the very best range for garden, home and much much more.

This weekend McD’s are proud to announce the opening of a brand new Garden Centre in Galway City located in the iconic Galway Crystal Building.

Nicely located with good parking and serviced by the 404 Newcastle to Oranmore bus, McD’s Garden Centre at Galway Crystal is a must visit location if you need anything from plants, shrubs, pots, garden furniture and more. They have a dedicated solar garden lights section, gorgeous array of water features and garden ornaments and practically everything you need for your garden.

Visit their Facebook today where they are running competitions and keep track of other promotions too. You can visit their website online at

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Connacht Tribune

UHG nurse battles for her life in ICU

Dara Bradley



Leona Paula ICU.

UHG remains braced to rapidly respond to any rise in Covid-19 patients as a result of a second surge – but the plight of one of their own colleagues this week showed just how precarious this pandemic can be.

Because while senior management at the Saolta Group vowed to stay ‘vigilant and alert’, a staff nurse at UHG was battling for her life in the hospital’s own ICU.

Leona Paula Leoncio, a 36-year-old mother of two boys, tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and was moved to ICU on Monday where she was intubated and ventilated.

The staff nurse, who had no underlying health conditions, is now battling for life in ICU at UHG, according to the Philippine Consulate in Dublin, which has urged people to pray for her.

Ms Leoncio moved to Ireland in 2017, with her husband and two children, to work in the country’s health system.

“We might have different faiths and beliefs but can I ask of you . . . to take a pause and say a prayer of healing and strength for her and her family,” said Chuck Giner, her nursing colleague at UHG, in a posting relayed on the Philippine Consulate’s social media.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – along with all of the latest news on the Covid-19 pandemic. We’re on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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Connacht Tribune

Gort boy reunites Tipp star with broken hurl from famous point

Dara Bradley



Liam Linnane from Gort holding Brendan Maher's broken hurley from the All-Ireland semi-final club game. Photo: Hardiman Photography.

Tipperary All-Star hurler Brendan Maher has revealed that a young lad in Gort has found his long-lost hurl – the one he used to score one of the points of the last sporting year.

The broken hurl, the one that broke the hearts of St Thomas’ fans back in January, was used to fire over a point in Borris-Illeigh’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over the Galway club at the Gaelic Grounds.

Maher revealed last week that he tried to retrieve the hurl after the match to keep as a memento, but couldn’t find it. He subsequently got a letter from twelve year old Liam Linnane from Gort, who had found it.

“After I scored the point I got kind of carried away and I threw it over my shoulder into the open stand in the Gaelic Grounds. After the match, I thought I would really like to have that hurley but we could not find it and the club even contacted the Gaelic Grounds afterwards to see if it was found.

“Several weeks had passed and I’d given up on it when I got a letter from a young fella in Gort and I read down through it. He said he was twelve years old and that he was at the game where I scored the point with the broken hurley and that he had the hurley.”

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune – on sale in all newsagents and supermarkets, and you can also order the Tribune with your home delivery; buy a digital edition here, or avail of the new An Post service to deliver to your door at no extra cost to the cover price.

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